Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Why I "Unfriended" You on Facebook

I've started deleting "friends" from my facebook. Yes I have become that person.

A few months ago I saw my "friend" number... it was almost at 500. Seriously? Are these people really my "friends"? It was ridiculous. I was dreading sharing pictures because of the amount of people who would see them. Basically strangers had access to photos of my wedding, of my kittens! All attached to my name, where I live, where I work.

I had a moment where I thought- what the eff am I doing? Since when do I need to share that much information with that many people who really don't care about my life?

So I started deleting. Criteria was pretty amorphous at first. If someone posted something on my facebook that I found offensive: I'd delete them (racist rap videos? spamming my feed with offensive slurs? buhbye!). Most of these people were acquaintances from elementary and high school anyway. Offensive ex-boyfriend: why the heck was he on my facebook anyway?

Then, someone on twitter pointed out that if they wouldn't be friends with them in real life, why bother sharing that much information on facebook? Perfect. People who had been random acquaintances from long ago, delete!

Now, I definitely have had twinges of guilt. Like: what if they notice and are offended? What if they reacted like the "why I was unfriended because of an elephant" post?

But then I realized... facebook isn't a place for me to share a ton of personal information with random people I hardly know. These people aren't my friends, they are barely acquaintances. I should be able to choose who I share my personal space with. Being "unfriended" by someone you weren't friends to begin with isn't rational. It's missing what true friendship means.

Facebook is an extremely useful connecting tool. I use it all the time for organizing yoga in the park, communicating with friends, connecting with people who live far away and sharing my life with family. For myself, it is not a place where I *have* to share these things with every single person walking through the realms of my past or my present life. It's becoming a sort of weird social etiquette if you delete or turn down a friend request- no matter the request-ee.

I love writing my blog, and I love sharing and connecting on Twitter.

I do feel that it is my choice should I want a small part of my online "life" to remain somewhat more secluded, a tiny bit more private. And that is what facebook is for me- a way to share more intimate parts of my daily life with people who are truly friends and family.

article copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. I unfriended some folks a few months ago, and then ran into one of them at an event not two days following the unfriending. He was visibly pissed at me. Which I found odd, since we barely knew each other. I'd had a few random conversations with him during some protests we attended, but that's about it.

    Facebook is a strange thing. I use it a lot for networking, and spreading social activist/political and spiritual practice info., so my list of friends is wider than just intimates in my life. However, over the past year, I have weeded the list twice, realizing that some folks fit none of the categories I use it for. Old high school and college connections. People I met once or twice at some event. It's easy to add too many people, and then wonder why they are there.

  2. I like Facebook for keeping in touch with close friends and family. I started getting picky about my friends list back when I joined in 2007. It was cool at first, but then I realized these people that I haven't spoken to since graduation are not my friends. I do not feel guilty about deleting people.

  3. Don't feel bad--I completely agree and I purge routinely. If it weren't for my Argentine host families and friends being on FB now, I'd delete the whole account at this point. Of course, I am slightly of the "FB as a conspiracy to secure personal/private info from people" mindframe.... :)

  4. I also don't like the idea of casual acquaintances knowing so much about my life through facebook. However, I do like to be able to keep in touch with some people who I consider casual acquaintances simply because they live a distance away from me. These are the people who I feel I would be much closer friends with if they lived nearer to me. My solution ...... I use the privacy settings and categorize 'friends'. That way my close friends and family can see my photos etc and casual acquaintances can only see limited things. Works for me. :)

  5. That's something I have always felt weird about too. Then I got rid of facebook in January. I don't regret it at all, it's one of the best things I for myself atm.

  6. I have a couple hundered people myself and I do post tons of pics of family and friends but I try to make sure its nothing too personal.

  7. Most of the time FB "Friends" do not even know they are unfriended, after all, there is no notification of this action. I could never understand at some of my friends who have hundreds of FB "Friends", maybe in this hi tech world we have forgotten the real meaning of friendship

  8. I deactivated my FB account some years ago, after ending with with too many 'friends' on there. Was great to be free of it. However, I'm now thinking of going back on there, mainly to raise my professional profile as a yoga teacher, and I know my personal page is going to be very much REAL friends only! Glad I'm not the only one who thinks like this!

  9. I've been "clean" off FB for over a year and a half and have no regrets. My blog is more important for me and if people need to see pictures they can come there. Otherwise, if they're my friends, I already am in touch with them. I use Twitter to expand my blog's reach and I use it for work, and that's plenty!

    The important thing to remember is that Facebook is a marketing research tool - they make their money off of gathering all our personal details and using them for selling us things, and all those little apps take our privacies away. That's really what got me off FB, when I realized this. Good old fashioned handwritten letters? I love 'em.

    Here's what I recommend - take your birthday off of Facebook and see who actually remembers! THOSE are the friends :)


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